Grateful Dead Live at Philadelphia Civic Center on 1984-04-21
Patched Eaton/Silberman FOB (17th Row Split 30 feet) Neumann U87's via Doug Nawrocki
Subject: bread crumb
Subject: another voice asking for this tours soundboards
Subject: Playing in the Band
The sound on this recording is superb. This version of PITB is very tight. '83 marked the beginning of Brent moving away from strictly using the Hammond B-3 organ for this number and switching to the his new Yamaha GS-1 which had the killer marimba tone and other percussive instrument sounds.
Subject: Insanity's King....
That "Slipknot" is a mind-crush.
Excellent stuff !
Subject: Top Ten for 1984
Why, 421 of course !!
Some of you might think I've lost my mind completely. Not only am I bothering to rate shows from 1984, now I'm even picking AUD recordings!???
However, as many of the reviews from this run of shows will attest, there are some INCREDIBLE sounding AUD tapes from this period. These guys had the right stuff, and the right location. We owe them a big debt, cause otherwise this show would be gone forever.
Sure, I'm praying that a Miller SBD upgrade drops from the clouds, as did 4/20/84. But for now, this AUD will do me just fine. A little echo-ey. But much of that is from the hall's acoustics. Tweak your knobs for some bass and fire up some cheerios.
Four reasons I like this show better than 4/20 -
1. Bobby does not play Rooster.
2. They do not encore with Day Job. Brokedown instead !!!
3. A more solid setlist overall, esp. Set Two.
4. The Wharf Rat is one of the best from this period.
The first set is tight and well played. FOTD delivers the vibe and sets the mood. West L.A. is also very solid with good vocals by Jerry. I always wished Jerry could have played this song with Little Feat - he and Lowell trading vocals. Can't you see it? But I digress.
Minglewood is scorching. Bobby is convincing, and the crowd responds. Plenty of funky gospel organ from Brent. By now my head is swirling like the Leslies - and I've completely forgotten that I'm NOT hearing a SBD recording. AMAZING. Even Bobby's slide solo is, well .... good. Phil drops some fat ones, and Jerry solos with passion. The band is really locked in now, and they proceed to lay down an energetic, funky Tenn Jed - one of only 10 played in 1984. Jerry's voice is just raspy enough here, and on this AUD, the 2 drummers don't dominate the mix. You hear plenty of Jerry and Brent, and an above average Phil presence. Again - it's easy to forget you're listening to an AUD recording. Finally, it's Deal that makes the first set worth the trip. Up tempo and blazing from start to finish. Jerry is way out in front on the solo, nails every note and never seems to run out of fire. I'm certain this song sent the audience into the break with melted faces.
As I've written before, there seems to be certain songs that shine a little brighter in certain years, for whatever reason. And in 1984, although an uneven year overall - Wharf Rat, Morning Dew, Shakedown and Help>Slipknot are regular standouts for me throughout the year.
They dive into Help like they mean business, a lively tempo with Garcia articulating all the riffs perfectly. And Phil, wow. Some monster bass lines that when combined with the counterpoint blazing from Jerry and Brent makes the whole thing sound like Return to Forever. This has to be about the best Help of the year hands down. All 64 colors and then some.
Then they drop right in to the pocket with Franklin's. The groove is so infectious and comes through so well on the AUD, you can really feel the crowd dancing with you. Jerry and Brent trade synchopated rhythms like clockwork. This whole trilogy takes over 27 minutes, and if your Dew isn't rolled away by now, check your pulse. Nothing left to do but blast off into Inner Space with a fine Playin. A decent length for the 80's (11 minutes) which includes a very mellow minor mode section from Jerry. Transcendent. Takes me back to those 1973 Dark Star jams. Forget 1984. Forget space and time entirely. This is the Zone.
The Zone melts and morphs into China Doll so effortlessly you don't notice. Jerry's guitar is really clear and strong here, once again you'd bet your buds it's a SBD. Okay, so he cracks a couple of vocals, but still a solid version with a prize inside - a nice Playin type jam at the end. It seems Jerry just didn't want to stop.
Space is just right. Not the overly-digital sound of the later 80's. Not boring. Not too hard-edged.
But definitely weird. Jerry plays around with the "Other One" rhythm a few times but the band won't play. He does manage to coax them into a major key eventually, which leads to a great, heart-stopping version of Wharf Rat. The crowd's response really comes through here, without detracting from the sound. Plenty of bass from Phil and Brent's pedals.
"I'll get up and fly away" - yes you will when you crank this one up. Roses will be growing out of the top of your head. Garcia's leads are shimmering and soaring. And he puts some extra soul into the vocals as well.
The band still has plenty of fuel left to throw down a Not Fade Away with teeth. Except for Don't Need Love and Stones, the second set could have been a 1977 show, you dig?
Brokedown is the star on top of this Christmas tree. A perfect ending to a stellar show and a real highlight for this tour with another good vocal performance from Jerry (and good harmonies from the band).
A very satisfying show on many levels. 4/20 may also make my top ten, I haven't decided yet. The Scarlet>Fire is very strong. Another listen is in order. But this last night is an undeniable standout.
enjoy the eighties greaties,
Dr. Flashback :-)
Subject: love this show
Subject: Good Show from a Good Tour
Subject: Begging for the SBD!
Of course there is echo, the mics are Omni's and the old Civic Center had that sound.
If you are giving this show 3 stars, you obviously weren't there.
Subject: a nice 2nd set
the hall has some echo ...but...I totally enjoyed this recording !
a very good show over all .
a nice H>S>F>Playin
IMHO, this is the best Wharf Rat ever played.
a nice WR ,but, IMO NOT even the best of 84
7/14/84 is a MUCH better WharfRat
7/14 blows this show away
if you are looking for a smokin 84 show listen to 10/12/84 ...maybe the show of the year
Subject: pretty average show
1st set = 3 stars
2nd set = 3 stars
sound = 4 stars, good for an AUD
overall show = 3 stars
Subject: liquid 84
very good days....
Subject: one of my fav aud rec.
*****nice pull, sonic bass with beautiful separation.
Subject: Crank it up and you are there
Subject: Excellent Help/Slip/Franklin's
Subject: Sick Friend of the Devil
Subject: wharf rat
Subject: An important chapter in the evolution of the 83-84 comeback of the Help->Slipknot->.
This one is consistently mentioned when there is discussion of the best quality audience recordings. Don't know all of the technical details but do know that the mics were spread 30 feet apart in the 17th row and that they fed into an early generation digital deck. I think this comes as close to puting you "in the civic center" as I have heard from any recording.
The first set heats up as it gains momentum. West LA Fade is slick and professional with a dark side to it. The closing Looks Like Rain->Deal has the band taking exciting risks and exploring.
In set II we get to hear each band member return to the stage. Out of the random notes of the band's tuneup rises a steady beat. Brent takes it up, then Phil. Then you hear the taper call it! "Help on the Way! Help on the way!" What a great moment. The Help is much slower and very groovy. Slipknot is an underwater snake weaving throught the muddy Amazon! This is serious stuff. I must concur with the other reviewers. Franklin's is super loose and bouncy, Jerry's at the wheel. A very spacy Playing follows. Jerry's voice is shot on the chorus of China Doll but he still pulls it off with great heart and effect.
Contrary to what a lot of people think about 84 as a year, the spring east coast tour was exceptional. I caught the show two nights later in Providence. Jerry looked awful and was probably very high for the vast majority of the shows. The band sounded loud and aggressive and played with recklessness on many nights. This night at the Philly Civic Center is a great snapshot of the band. Put yourself in the correct state of mind, pop on the headphones and crank up the second set. You won't be dissapointed.
Subject: love it
One of the best Aud tapes on the Archive. Sounds like a board. Nice airy recording. Little crowd noise.
Subject: Begging for an upgrade
If the guys who has the SBD of this one ever reads this, PLEASE release the SBD of GD 4/21/84.
It is just begging for an upgrade!
Subject: must have
first set is nice a driving West La into a fast minglewood.
Help on the Way has a nice teased out intro
Subject: Help On The Way
Subject: I was sick that night.
Subject: Overshadowed by the previous night
But of the 500+ shows I have on tape/DAT/CD, I think I've listened to this one the most. I don't know why I love this show so much, I just do. The beginning of the Help is unorganized with the band all coming in at different times. I personally love the way it begins, but some would prolly call it "botched" and who could blame them. I love the Help > Slip >Franklins from this show. The Playin is where this show really shines. It's definitely my favorite Playin and parts of it get "out there". It's great! The China Doll is awesome too as is the transition into CD. Then you get a free tune after the China Doll!
I love the Space jam and IMHO, this is the best Wharf Rat ever played. Wharf Rat is one of my least favorites, but this version is one I can listen to over and over. Jerry's vocals and playing are just ON. Remainder of the show is standard fare.
The Help, Slip, Franklins, Playin, Space>Wharf Rat make this show a must.
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